Gaelic tr*nsl*t**n

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Gaelic tr*nsl*t**n

Unread post by Grantat » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:32 pm

Hi - I live in the village of Aboyne in Aberdeenshire. I’ve come across a Gaelic spelling of the village (from bend of the river) and its

lùb na h-aibhne

I believe it’s pronounced roo-nah-hay-ven. There is a road in Aboyne called rhu na haven. (Actual spelling)

Now the thing for me is the last word looks like Aboyne.
I’m wondering if at some point (my history is terrible) perhaps an anglicized spelling may have occurred and the pronounciation may have changed.

My question is - what’s the pronounciation of aibhne in Gaelic - is it a-boy-nnnnn or is it possibly “aay-ven “

Afraid I never learnt Gaelic - could someone on your forum provide some assistance?

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Gaelic tr*nsl*t**n

Unread post by faoileag » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:12 pm

We don't do tr*ns on this forum (or we would be swamped, and we like to support professional practitioners), but this is actually a query about the origins of a place-name, so I'll give it a go.

The notes in Ainmean Àite na h-Alba (Place-names of Scotland) are probably not very helpful to you in this case, but have a look anyway.

Go to
and put in the words lùb, na h-aibhne, abhainn, rubha. You will see an arrow to click under"Audio" on the right for spoken pronunciation.

First of all, lùb, bend, is pronounced with an L not an R, so is likely to be unrelated to your "rhu".
na h-aibhne, of the river, is pronounced approx. nuh HIGH-nyeh (vaguely similar to Aboyne?)
Your "haven" possibly comes from the main form of the Gaelic word for a river, abhainn, pron. variously A-veen, A-ween, and A-een (very approx.)
"rhu" probably comes from "rubha", a point or promontory, pron. approx. ROO-uh.

So it looks to me, but I'm no expert, that Gaelic spelling (the BH in aibhne/abhainn, pronounced as a V, a W or not pronounced at all) may have led mistakenly to the B pronounced as B in Aboyne, and that Gaelic pronunciation (rubha, abhainn) may have led to the anglicised written version "rhu na haven".

That is all speculation on my part, but would be typical of such place-name development, with the languages influencing each other over time.

Anyone else?

Níall Beag
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Gaelic tr*nsl*t**n

Unread post by Níall Beag » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:50 pm

Wikipedia has a very different history of the name.

I'd be very surprised if the B had anything to with "abhainn"/"aibhne" given how things would have started with speech, and I'd be highly surprised if the B in abhainn was ever pronounced B in Scottish Gaelic, as it's a also V sound in Welsh, and they split a long, long time ago. (Then there's also the question of whether it actually ever was a Gaelic name in the first place, given the influence of Pictish around Aberdeen.)

A lot of placenames have been so twisted by history that unless you can actually find all the changes it went through written down, you're unlikely to ever know the original form.

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